The Bulgarian Civil Code
regulates the procedures used in civil cases
brought in front of the Bulgarian Court. The Civil Code is divided into several sections and contains rules regarding the civil cases, Courts, the involved parties from a case, the way a decision should be presented and the involved fees and taxes.
The proceeding in matrimonial suits are regulated by the Chapter Twenty Six of the Bulgarian Civil Code and states clearly the conditions and actions during a process for divorce, for marriage annulment and for establishment of the existence or non-existence of a marriage between the parties.
Besides the matrimonial suits, the Civil Cove also states clear rules on commercial cases or on disputes on various properties and the enforcement procedure which may be invoked in all the civil and commercial cases.
General litigation procedure
The Courts are obliged to take decisions in each submitted case. Court proceedings must be conducted in the Bulgarian language and in case neither party is familiar with this language, an oral interpreter must be appointed by the Court.
According to the Bulgarian Civil Code the district court, acting as a court of first instance, will hear cases involving the ownership or rights in immovable with a cost of action above 50000 LVL, any civil and commercial cases with a cost of action exceeding 25000 LVL, any case establishing the inadmissibility or nullity of a recording, or any other case granted by the law. An action is brought before the court situated in the geographical area where the permanent address or the registered office of the respondent is located. The decision taken by the district courts can be contested in front of the Appeal Courts and when the decision taken by it also not satisfactory, the case can be brought in front of the Bulgarian Supreme Court which can take a non-appealing decision.
There are various types of panels in charge with taking a decision in a civil case for instance the first-instance cases are examined by a one-judge panel while the intermediate appellate review cases and cassation cases are heard by a three-judge panel, including a presiding judge. During a case, all the involved judges must vote for a decision, the junior judges first and the senior judges at last.
The involved parties in a case can be the person being sued and the person suing someone. The persons being sued are receiving a communications served by a court official, by post or through a courier service or in exceptional case by a private enforcement agent.
The Court is calling the involved parties by delivering a summons which states the issuing court; the name and address of the person summoned; details regarding the case and the capacity in which the person is summoned; the place and time of the hearing the case and all the consequences of not being present at the case. Upon conducting the case, the cost of the action and the stamp duties must be collected. In certain cases, the amount of the stamp duty is not standard and must be determined by the court. There are two types of stamps involved in the process: simple or proportionate stamp duties.
A statement of action is the base of beginning any action in court and must be accompanied by a power of attorney (when the statement is submitted by an attorney-in-fact); a proof that all the stamp duties and costs were covered and duplicates of the statement of action.
A statement of action must be signed by its author and must state the name and address of the plaintiff (clear stating his/her Standard Public Registry Personal Number), of the respondent, of the legal representatives or attorneys-in-fact thereof; the cost of action (when applicable); a short description of the circumstances upon which the action is based and the nature of the request.
After receiving the document and deciding that it is valid, the court must deliver a duplicate copy along with its attachments to the respondent, waiting no longer than one month to receive a signed answer containing a reference to the court and to the case number; the name of the respondent and his/her address; the name and address of the legal representative or attorney-in-fact(if applicable); an acceptance of the case(if proper) and the short description of the circumstances upon which the action is founded or the oppositions to the action and the circumstances upon which the said oppositions are founded.
If the court decides that the action is void, the statement of action is returned to the requester.
The Bulgarian Civil Code is also stating regulations regarding the hearing of the case, the procedure of hearing the witnesses, checking the evidences and testimonies, listening to the involved parties and the adjudication of the cases.